Local News for Friday 13th April 2018

Free delivery claims must include islands
The Committee of Advertising Practice yesterday told online and mail order companies that they could not claim ‘free UK delivery’ unless the offer applied to everyone, including the Scottish islands. Yesterday’s enforcement notice applies to advertisers across the UK and says that online and distance sellers must comply by 31st May. They promise that their compliance team will take enforcement action from that date onwards. The CAP’s announcement said: “Consumers in some parts of the UK, particularly Scotland and Northern Ireland, are often subject to additional charges to have goods delivered. We are aware that some online retailers are not making these surcharges clear and upfront. We have seen misleading ‘UK delivery’ claims when the charge or service stated does not apply across the UK. It is reasonable for consumers to expect a definitive claim to apply to them wherever they live, including Northern Ireland and the Scottish Isles. If there are delivery restrictions or exclusions, these need to be made clear from the outset.”

Cash award for Barra and Vatersay
£830,000 of National Lottery money has been awarded to the Northbay garden project in Barra, for a new centre supporting adults in Barra and Vatersay who have disabilities, mental health or substance misuse problems. The funding will help create a hub for local organisations providing services to the adults, which will also become the main social, training and activity site for the groups. The project runs a garden centre where vegetables, flowers and trees are grown, creating activity and employment for adults with support needs.

Big clean-up weekend
A series of clean-up events around the islands beaches and villages continues this weekend, with the final events in the Big Spring Beach Clean, organised by Clean Coast Outer Hebrides. The initiative has seen individual and organised events through this week, with the aim of collecting a ton of rubbish from beaches in Lewis and Harris. By Wednesday the group were up to 318 kilos of trash picked up at beaches including Bayble, Steinish and Eoropie, by islanders and by visitors. Tomorrow North Harris Trust has an event organised at Outend Scalpay from 11am, but anyone can get involved with their own mini beach-clean, and send their total weight of rubbish collected to Clean Coast Outer

Hebrides to add to the grand total.
Meanwhile residents of Leverburgh will this weekend be trawling roadside verges, ditches and shorelines for rubbish as part of their community clean-up. A skip has been placed at Leverburgh pier and will be open from 10am to 4pm tomorrow for any rubbish from anywhere in the village. Children from Leverhulme Memorial School will be hard at work next week clearing the area between their school and the Church of Scotland. Organisers say: “Let’s get the village looking lovely in time for the arrival of the new Lifeboat and a very busy summer season!” The new Leverburgh RNLI lifeboat has left the yard at Poole and is en route to Leverburgh, due to arrive next Saturday, April 21st.

Fire engine heads for Moldova
A fire engine cleaned, refitted and equipped by Stornoway fire crews is about to head off for Moldova, to provide much-needed emergency service to the people of Nisporeni. It’s the tenth year that Stornoway crews have participated in the initiative, and the second time they have put their winter hours into refurbishing an appliance which has passed its useful life, so that communities in Eastern Europe can have the equipment they need. On Thursday 17th May members of The Scottish Emergency Rescue Association (SERA) will be leaving Edinburgh with five fire engines and an ambulance. There’ll be three crew with each vehicle, including firefighters, medics, mechanics, technicians and a driving instructor. This year Stornoway’s participants are Ian Murray, Alex MacLennan and David Campbell. They’ll be crossing the North Sea on the Thursday night and driving from Amsterdam through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Romania before arriving in Moldova 1,500 miles later, on Sunday night. Five days of training with local firefighters and paramedics follow, before the vehicles and equipment are handed over in a traditional ceremony attended by the mayor, local dignitaries and senior fire service and military personnel. The following Saturday morning the team will bid farewell to the Moldovan firefighters before catching a three-hour flight back to the UK, and onwards to Glasgow and Stornoway. Work on the Stornoway vehicle has continued through the winter to prepare it for handover, with local companies donating their time and expertise to get the fire engine in good condition. Equipment donated within the vehicles is surplus to UK requirements, but is thoroughly checked and has many years of serviceable life left in it. From today (Friday) there’ll be a thank you tour of businesses who have helped, starting at Marybank Garage this morning. Anyone passing by is very welcome to stop and have a look and donations are most welcome. On previous trips since 2009 the vehicles have gone to Romania and Serbia as well as to Moldova.

Weekend football
The final first-round match in the Acres Boys Club competition was played at Garrabost on Wednesday evening, with Westside beating cup holders Point 3 - 2 thanks to two goals from Alex John Morrison in the first half. Point came out fighting in the second half, Wally Maciver scoring two goals, one from a penalty, before Westside’s Donnie Smith scored the decider five minutes from the end. The semi-finals of that contest will be played on April 23rd between Lochs and Ness, and on the 25th between Aths and Westside. Tonight sees the first matches of the island league, Aths against Ness at Goathill and Back v United at Coll, both kick-offs 6.30pm.